21 Jan 2013

Fiji regime dismisses concerns of difficulty complying with new decree

7:44 pm on 21 January 2013

The Fiji interim government has dismissed fears that its new political party decree is too difficult to comply with.

The decree, regulating political parties, requires them have to sign up 5000 members by the middle of next month, and bans union officials from being members of a party.

The Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions says the new decree will eliminate all parties.

The Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office, Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua, says a number of parties have complained they cannot meet the timeline and says the SDL party is seeking an extension.

But he says there is no major reason to be concerned.

"Maybe the time is to start doing some work in getting their supporters, getting the party registered, as opposed to saying that it cannot be done. It's not impossible to do. The political parties are very well established in their own right. We know that. I think it's a reason to try and just try and not to comply with the requirements."

Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua says the regime has started to process applications for the Constituent Assembly and only one person has withdrawn their interest.